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Sourdough Bread with Fennel Seeds

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Categories: Low-fat, Lunchbox Favorites, Snacks, Vegetarian
Type: Desserts and Baked Goods

To make this bread, the starter must be prepared a couple of days in advance. Despite the need for forward planning, it is easy to make and the leftover starter can be used to make more loaves

Prep Time: prep 40 mins, plus standing and rising

Cooking Time: cook 35 mins

Serves: makes 1 large loaf

Ingredients:

For the starter

  • 1 1 / 2 cups bread flour
  • one 1 / 4 oz ( 7g) envelope instant yeast
  • 2 1 / 4 cups tepid water

For the dough

  • 4 3 / 4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • one 1 / 4 oz ( 7g) envelope instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1 / 2 cups tepid water
Sourdough Bread with Fennel Seeds photo

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Directions:

  1. To make the starter, mix the flour and yeast together in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the water to make a smooth batter. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in the kitchen (not necessarily in a warm place) for 2 days, stirring daily. The finished starter will look separated and have a sharp aroma.
  2. For the bread, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, fennel, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Stir the starter well. Add 1/4 cup of the starter and the water to the flour mixture.
  3. Stir until the dough comes together, adding a little more water if needed. Knead on a lightly floured work surface for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume.
  4. Oil a large baking sheet. Punch down the dough and knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a ball and flatten the top. Transfer to the baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly dust the loaf with flour then, using a sharp knife, slash the top in a diamond pattern. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Tips:
  • prep 40 mins, plus standing and rising; cook 35 mins

Variations

German Sourdough Bread (Bauernbrot): Replace 2 cups of the bread flour in the dough with rye flour.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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